In the final part of the series we will bring you more practical examples to get you through these scouting challenges, while digging deeper into how the new Wyscout Scouting Area can streamline your workflows.

Football leagues around the world are on hold while the precautions surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are in place.

Scouting staff will experience more challenges than most, as they can no longer travel to see live matches but must keep in mind preparations for identifying new targets and the summer transfer window.

To refresh, here are the challenges that scouts will encounter while working remotely. 

  • No active match schedules combined with travel restrictions means no opportunity to review performances of potential recruits.
  • Rescheduling your live scouting: With nearly all competitions worldwide put on hold, scouts have to make sure a new scouting schedule will be properly managed so that your priorities and targets are kept under the radar as much as possible. 
  • Re-assess your geo-strategy: Attending matches and travelling is no longer possible, meaning a solid assessment of a player will be harder to ascertain and so the way scouts look at the market will also be changing. This means, you will now potentially be looking at different players or even markets.
  • Keeping yourself motivated: Assessing and reassessing your targets - tweaking your ‘shadow team’. Look at other competitions and keep a close eye on different sources, including the huge amount of data available online. 
  • Depending on how a club approaches scouting, there could be a lower utilization of other scouting resources. An example of this is where technical scouts operate as the main users of technology to support processes. In this example scouts who don’t usually use Wyscout for creating detailed assessments and dossiers on players will be impacted the most.
Underpin subjective opinion with video evidence in the Scouting Area.

When forced to scout remotely, being able to underpin subjective opinion with video evidence is key. Leeds United Director of Football Victor Orta has ‘four pillars’ that he measures players against - technical, physical, mental and transition to new surroundings. He explains how video evidence takes the risk out of assessing technical skills. 

“We’re actually creating a document called ‘DNA Leeds United’, trying to define our standard for recruiting a footballer,” said Orta.  “One standard is the technical level and if you want to minimize the risks you can use tools like Wyscout to monitor players for all the time you need.” 

High-performance video and data can mitigate the risks in player recruitment and the Wyscout Scouting Area, now included in Hudl Pro Suite, has a unique online database to meet specific player recruitment needs. The Wyscout Scouting Area allows you to choose from a plethora of curated clips and present targets to decision makers based on unbiased videos and data.

Once the first large list of potential targets has been made according to the particular needs of your coaching team and the specific KPIs set by them, you can easily link any video among the thousands available in the Wyscout database, giving the reports an objective feedback on the subjective opinions of the scouts. The Scouting Area offers evidence to be presented to decision makers with a complete 360 ° view.

270+ competitions worldwide: Flag potential targets with data and assess with videos before sending scouts.

Now take the example of FC Utrecht, who use the Wyscout Scouting Area reporting function to make informed decisions on player scouting using video and data at hand. Chief scout Ajie Schut has a five-man recruitment team who use the Wyscout Scouting Area to report on a wide range of leagues and players. 

“It’s crit­i­cal for us to cov­er every­thing,” said Schut. ​“We use data and video in Wyscout to report on all the play­ers we watch. If one of my scouts sees a play­er with good 1v1 skills or that can cross well, I ask him to go into reports in the Scouting Area to cut clips of footage that show me — as a Chief Scout — why he thinks that play­er is so good. This is also use­ful for our coach and tech­ni­cal direc­tors, as they don’t have much time to look at reports and this makes every­thing eas­i­er and sim­pler for every­one. This way, every­one gets an idea of the type of play­er we’re talk­ing about.”

When scouting potential targets, two of the key factors in play are on-field success and financial impact. As in, will a new player affect matches positively and be worth the money? Or perhaps have the potential to generate future income via a sale for a higher price?

Organize your game tactics and market strategies with the shadow tools function.

For a club like FC Utrecht who operate with a smaller budget, they are constantly trying to unearth the next stream of talent to maximise club investments. This strategy does not stop even in this time of social distancing and Utrecht uses the playlist in the Wyscout Scouting Area to monitor and analyze players.

“We watch all the play­ers through the Playlist tool,” said Schut. ​“Then if they are good enough, we add them into Shadow Teams, where we can watch them dis­played on the pitch. This allows us to have every­thing at hand and to watch clips and get infor­ma­tion when need­ed. It’s a good solu­tion for us — every­thing we need in one place — and it allows us to know what we’re look­ing for as a club.”

“For us, it’s very impor­tant to use the Scouting Area because it allows us to use video and put them into reports. As a scout­ing team, we want our coach and our direc­tors to be aligned with us, and we want them to have a clear image of the play­ers that we scout­ed and we think are good enough for the team.”

Easily combine subjective scouting reports, curated video clips as well as performance and career data to provide 360 degree evidence on potential signings.
An overview of how you can organize players and team match reports in the Scouting Area.

Being able to scout talent online while scouts are unable to travel is key to make sure preparations for the next transfer window can continue. Wolverhampton Wanderers head of recruitment John Marshall explains the value of using video to assess players on a global scale. 

“So, what happens when there’s a youth competition halfway around the world?” said Marshall. “Often, to get someone out there live would be too expensive. So, we divide up all the games and the scouts watch those games to identify the best talent. At times, you don’t always get the talent straight away because of work permit issues. But it’s critical if there are European teams to work on the wide-scale, highlight those talented players and then follow up with live scouting when they come back to Europe.”

Using Wyscout, clubs can choose from a range of curated clips—from more than 270 competitions worldwide—then attach them to scouting reports to provide effective evidence. 

  • Wyscout provides detailed online training for customers using Scouting Area meaning those scouts who usually travel can switch to spending more time on Wyscout during this period of restricted travel and no games. You can upskill in Wyscout with our free Hudl Academy course.
  • We want to enable all teams and recruitment departments to use the Wyscout platform while there are no games and travel is restricted. This is available until your season recommences. 

Learn more about the Wyscout Scouting Area HERE